George N. M.

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About George N. M.

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    Senior Member

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  • Location
    Laramie, Wyoming
  • Interests
    Blacksmthing, camping, hiking, historical reenactment

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  1. In the discussion of honesty and ethics in business and craft I am reminded of the story of a medieval craftsman, a stone carver, who was carving statutes of saints to be installed high in a cathedral. When he was asked why he was finishing the backs of the statutes as well and as finely as the front when the backs would never be seen once installed he replied, "God would know and I would know." That kind of philosophy is still pretty common amongst craftspeople. What is hidden behind the drywall is known to the worker and to God. "By hammer and hand all arts do stand." PS Although I never heard him say it I can hear Francis Whittaker's voice saying the words of the medieval craftsman. Samuel Yellin probably had a similar philosophy.
  2. Thomas, that is what is called "freezing the design." At some point in developing a product that you have to say that it is as good as it is going to get and go to production. This is one of the reasons that the US and the Allies were able to out produce the Axis by at least an order of magnitude during WW2. German weapons, individually, were often more innovative than American ones but it took so long to get them into production that only a relatively few of them ever reached the hands of the troops. This philosophy is best expressed in the aphorism "The perfect is the enemy of the good." "By hammer and hand all arts do stand."
  3. I've been following this thread and thought that I'd chime in on essential job skills. One skill that I have noticed is difficult for some people is knowing when to let go of one job and move on to the next task. It is sort of a manifestation of perfectionism. Knowing when an effort is good enough for a particular job is not easy for some folk. In blacksmithing it is knowing that every little blemish does not have to be ground out and that every knife does not have to be polished to a mirror finish. In the law I have seen attorneys who have a very hard time stopping doing research and starting to write the brief or motion. There is a fine balance between not good enough and too good. Some jobs require intense attention to detail and some require a very coarse finish. Knowing the difference and being able to apply the different requirements can be a very essential job skill. "By hammer and hand all arts do stand."
  4. No offense, Charles, the combination of skills of attorney and blacksmith is pretty rare. Slag and I are the only ones I know of.
  5. I agree with Counselor Slag. However, Steve, you will have to decide how much this is worth to you now and for future protection. I can see this coming up again in the future. Fenris Forge is a cool name and I can see someone intentionally or innocently trying to use it. Unfortunately, I don't think that trade mark attorneys come cheap but I have never used one so I'm just making an educated guess. I don't think that the fee for a trade mark application should break the bank. The amount of $35 sticks in my mind. I'd offer to help pro bono but, like Slag, that is not my area of expertise. If you decide to go solo and want me to review something email or message me. This is probably a good reminder to all of us, particularly those of us who derive a significant amount of our income from the craft, that trade mark protection is a wise business decision. The more money involved and the higher the reputation of the business the more important it is. "Reverente vidite, mortales, heroem laborare." ("Look on in awe, mortals, a demigod is at work.") (A good sign to post in all blacksmith shops.)
  6. Dear Steve, Is he using "Steve Sells" or "Fenris Forge?" If the latter it may be an honest mistake. I can see, given a Norse interest and the alliteration, how two people could come up with the name independently. That said, there is a legal concept of first in time, first in right which would give you precedence. Also, in any legal action you would have to articulate how his use of the business name harms you and confuses customers who might think they were dealing with you when, in reality, they were dealing with him. I agree with the previous posters about beefing Facebook and sending him a nasty gram through your attorney. You might also contact the Attorney General's Consumer Fraud Section in both your and his states. "By hammer and hand all arts do stand."
  7. When someone asks me if I shoe horses I sometimes say, "Sure, shoo, horse, shoo!" Or I say that all I know about horses is that one end kicks and the other end bites. "By hammer and hand all arts do stand."
  8. One odd thing that I have observed is that the word "smith" is unrecognized by most people as a craftsman or fabricator. Most people associate it with a name, not an occupation. At one time I had business card with "George Monsson, smith" on them. I got mail, etc. addressed to Mr. Monsson-Smith. So, use "blacksmith" or "ironsmith" or "architectural iron worker" or something else to avoid confusion between your name and your occupation. "By hammer and hand all arts do stand."
  9. Also, "They gave their futures so that we could have ours. "
  10. As an old infantryman who "saw the elephant" in Viet Nam 49 years ago it is my duty and honor to remind everyone that this is not just the first long weekend of summer. It is the day to remember the young men and women of all the wars who never had the chance to grow old as we fortunate ones have. "They shall not grow old, as we who are left grow old Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. At the going down of the sun, and in the morning We shall remember them. -Laurence Binyon
  11. Thomas: The key factor is a successful lawsuit. I can sue anyone for pretty much anything but whether I can do that successfully is a whole 'nother question. A well drafted waiver can make a successful lawsuit very improbable. The key issue is whether the person signing the waiver truly knew what they were doing. Did they really understand all the circumstances and the danger of the activity? That is the core of litigation issues surrounding the validity of a waiver of liability. Was the waiver "knowing and intelligent?" That said, much of the value of a waiver is to discourage litigation. The existence of a signed waiver will often make a person think twice before getting involved in a legal dispute. Also, an attorney may want a larger retainer up front if he or she knows there is going to be a fight about the validity of a waiver. Also, you are correct that there are some things you can't waive as a matter of public policy. For example, you can't sign away your civil rights. A waiver allowing an employer to discriminate against you for your race, gender, disability, political affiliation, age, etc. would be void on its face. "By hammer and hand all arts do stand."
  12. Thomas, thanks. That makes sense. I just don't do mortise and tenon work at that scale. It would make more sense if I were repairing steam locomotives or traction engines. "By hammer and hand all arts do stand."
  13. OK, this is a beginner question from an old smith but how and for what purpose do you use the round, square, and rectangular holes in the face of a swage block? I have never been in a situation where I looked at my swage block and said, "Aha, that round/square/rectangular hole is just what I need for the project I'm working on!" Maybe it's the sort of things I make don't require this sort of thing. "By hammer and hand all arts do stand."
  14. Dear Frosty and others, The fairly new (last 15-20 years) coagulants available for wound treatment in places that sell 1st aid equipment (I got mine at REI) are really good at stopping bleeding. The military has started using them with very good success. They work better than the old direct pressure technique. I keep mine in my 1st aid kit because I am on a blood thinner and don't clot up as fast as I used to. "By hammer and hand all arts do stand."
  15. I'm not at all sure that I agree with Rockstar regarding not using the word "forge" in your name. Despite other folk using it for other purposes it still means a place where hot iron and steel is hammered into objects. There are only a few synonyms such as smithy, ironworks, or, even, blacksmith shop. If you don't like "forge" Cedar Crest Blacksmith Shop would easily convey what you do. Rockstar does make a point about the commonest definition of "forge" being false or bogus. Once, when I was back in Chicago and going through the phone book my mother asked me what I was looking for. I told her "forging tools" and she went ballistic thinking I was pursuing nefarious ends. It took me a bit to convince her that my context "forging" meant honest iron working. All that said, I've done business as Westmarch Forge for the last 40 years or so.